Andrew Bayer is an enigma, wrapped in a clusterfuck, shrouded in mystery. At least, that’s what many people believe. For as long as I’ve known the name Andrew Bayer, his identity has always been a bit of a secret. His talent however, speaks volumes, as his work with Anjunabeats has made him one of the most revered producers over the past decade. Though I’m sure many want me to reveal that his public image (or lack therof) is all a part of a master plan, the truth is that his brand is mostly the creation of his adoring fans, who have crafted a persona in his absence.

Unlike many DJs these days who put their entire lives on display, Bayer doesn’t use social media to divulge much personal information and until recently didn’t really tour, often playing shows few and far in-between. His reason? Fear of burning out, something you don’t hear from many DJs these days. Whereas the average artist spends 200+ days out of the year on the road, Andrew Bayer is a self-admitted homebody, choosing nights of watching Netflix in his London flat with his boyfriend instead of crowded, busy clubs. DJing is not his life – his life is a studio with Above & Beyond, using the inspiration from his everyday life to make music to take on the road – DJing is simply his way of giving back to fans. But that doesn’t mean he’s some sort of miser; Andrew Bayer is genuinely eager to stick around after his set and drink a beer while talking to fans like a normal person. Especially in the Anjunaverse, supporters are particularly expressive, sharing a deep connection to the music. It’s these stories – of people who have been motivated, uplifited, and even healed by the music – that make DJing still enjoyable to him.

In the last decade he has released two full length albums, multiple EPs and an impressive list of singles across the Anjunadeep and Anjunabeats labels.  Every time he releases a body of work, I call it his greatest one yet. And every time, I’m absolutely correct. His last studio album If It Were You, We’d Never Leave from 2013 was unlike anything dance music fans had ever heard, daring in its lack of club-leveling anthems like other DJs had been putting out at the time. Really, it was Worlds before people knew they wanted it. A classic move from Bayer, who has always been one step ahead of us all.

Though his work has been praised across the board, he simply can’t please everyone. There are three facets to his music: dark/ambient, trance, and melodic vocal house. And as every dance music fan knows, there’s always a small faction of people who will want you to play “your old music.” It’s the common misconception fans make, right behind mistaking him for Adam Beyer. But his style isn’t changing; it’s cyclical. From his Distractions EP to “The District” and now his Do Androids Dream EP,  Andrew Bayer’s greatest strength is his ability to switch styles. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds.  To go from something as techy as “Do Androids Dream Part 2,” to the rare vocal tune “Super Human” requires a completely different mindset, which also requires time to transition. However, Bayer knows it’s okay to take his time, in fact, he prefers it. There’s reason behind every aspect of Do Androids Dream, from recording the strings in his final track at the same studio he used for his last album, to a longer outro during “Tomorrow Boys.” Good music cannot be rushed, a lesson he hopes other producers can learn from his work.

Andrew Bayer’s core ideologies are a reflection of his environment. At just 18, Tony McGuinness brought Bayer’s first track to Anjuna, beginning his most influential relationship. Above & Beyond have always been a vital lifeline both in and outside the studio, even providing him with a place to stay before his permanent move to London. It’s hard to find anyone with a grudge against him, sonically or personally. How could they, when he speaks of his fellow artists with such respect and admiration. The man is truly a benchmark for other DJs and producers, making him one of the most sought after people in the industry right now. But no matter how much praise he gets from his colleagues, there’s nothing like a mother’s love. Andrew Bayer’s mother is his biggest fan, a title she took on well before his career truly began. Even with an ocean between them, he always makes time to travel to Delaware, like on the eve of his triumphant return to New York City for ABGT 100 last year. He’s thankful for the love and support of his family, and knows that not every person following their dreams can be surrounded by amazing people cheering them on so loudly.

I wanted to tell you that Andrew Bayer was a tortured soul, that he lived a life of solitude in a tiny studio pouring over his work, but the only pouring Andrew Bayer enjoys is the type that involves a bottle of wine. He is not just a DJ or a mysterious public figure, but rather a composer with a lot of time left to continue crafting his legacy – one full of important music with a soul, one that lingers well beyond fads and genres.